For the past four years, researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology have been using a Brookhaven NanoBrook ZetaPALS instrument for their studies on non-viral gene delivery.
Professor Mark Davis, Executive Officer of Chemical Engineering, explained: “We need an instrument that can determine the size and zeta potential of the new particles we are synthesizing as non-viral gene carriers. The measurement of these values is very important to our understanding of how the characteristics of the particles relate to gene delivery into cells. We routinely take measurements of the particles, which are composites of nucleic acid and polymers, in high ionic strength solutions of up to 150 mM of salt.”
Professor Davis concluded: “Besides the instrument’s capabilities in high ionic strength solutions, we chose the ZetaPALS because of the service and support Brookhaven offers to its customers. Field representative, Will Bernt, has always been able answer any questions we have had in a timely manner.”
The ZetaPALS owes its capabilities to phase analysis light scattering (PALS), a technique developed by, and unique to, Brookhaven Instruments. PALS is 1000 times more sensitive than conventional methods that depend on measuring shifts in light frequency, allowing extremely accurate determinations of zeta potential even in solutions that are highly conductive.